5 Life Skills to Help You Focus on Success

life skills that focus on success

When you first set a goal it’s pretty easy to stay on track.  You’ve got a plan, you’re working the plan and your motivation is strong.

As time goes on, however, there exists the possibility of losing steam and getting off-track.  In order to develop the momentum and stamina required to achieve success, there are several life skills you’ll need to focus on:

1) Believe you will succeed. For success to become a reality, it is absolutely crucial that you believe in what you’re doing.  This is easy at the beginning because you’re focused on what you stand to gain from achieving your goal.  As time goes on, you may gradually forget how excited you were and start to lose that inner fire.

To avoid this possibility, be sure to keep your vision strong and clear in your mind.  Visualization, when done right is among the most powerful of life skills. Write it out in full detail, or create a visual reminder like a vision board with drawings, paintings or magazine photos that represent your goals.  Revisit and focus on these reminders frequently.

2) Have confidence in your abilities. Your confidence may be strong at the start but it can quickly fade when you encounter obstacles or setbacks.  If this happens, remember that you once believed that you had the ability to achieve success.  Remind yourself why you felt that way.

In fact, you will find it helpful to write these reasons down when you first set a goal, and then keep reading them back to yourself when you feel your confidence starting to fade.  Remind yourself that any obstacles or setbacks are temporary and part of the learning curve. Strong confidence in your abilities is enough to propel you through to success.

3) Determination. Believing in your eventual success and your ability to achieve it is a great start, but you also have to be determined to make it happen!

Keep your determination strong by refusing to be held back by obstacles, and reminding yourself daily why your goals are important to you.  Determination is like an ember that burns in your belly, refusing to let you give up no matter how rough the going gets. Sometimes determination end up being the most important key to success.

4) Motivation. Staying motivated can also be a challenge, especially once the newness and excitement of your goals have worn off and it’s beginning to feel like “work.”

Nine times out of ten, motivation requires a simple decision to remain optimistic and inspired.  Find ways to keep your motivation high if your goal is truly important.  Read books by people who have achieved impressive results.  Talk to other successful people who have demonstrated tenacity and gone on to achieve amazing results.  The more you pump yourself up, the stronger your motivation will stay.

5) Awareness. Finally, stay on the lookout for any signs of self-sabotaging behavior or vanishing interest.  If you notice that you’re acting in ways that don’t further your goals or support your success, get to the root of the problem quickly so you can get back on track. Be alert to any tendency to undermine your resolve or give up and deal with it swiftly.

Trust that you can accomplish amazing things

You are capable of success in every area of your life. It’s not about talent, circumstances, or luck. It’s about learning and applying certain life skills and then monitoring your results and making little adjustments in your approach.

Setting goals is something we do naturally. The trouble is, most of us tend to do it almost unconsciously without taking the time to perfect the process. Then, when things don’t turn out the way we had hoped we internalize our disappointment in a way that creates doubt in our own abilities.

Become an advanced student in the school of life

Many people think that qualities like confidence, communication, creativity, motivation, focus, courage, and determination are something you are born with. I believe those qualities are learned life skills that anyone can master if they are willing to apply themselves. These are advanced life skills and the better you become at them, the more successful your life will be.

When we were in school, much of what we learned was difficult to focus on because it had very little practical value. But the kinds of skills we are talking about here have enormous practical value because they can literally transform the quality of your life. Find Your TRUE SELF is a concise guide to learning and applying these life skills.

If you really want to ramp up your level of success, ask yourself this question: Have I made up my mind to become an advanced student in the school of life? If you haven’t yet made that personal commitment then perhaps now would be a good time!

What helps you to focus on success in your life?
Which life skills do you think are the most important?
The lines are open!

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My all time favorite tool for accomplishing amazing goals and creating massive success quickly is something called the 100 Day Challenge. If you really want to realize your dreams and goals then you should read this article.


  1. Jody April 15, 2011 Reply

    Funny that people give up on “personal development” as they get older. This is what I have noticed anyways. I am a motivation junkie, hopefully I still will be when I am a grandma.

    • Jonathan April 15, 2011 Reply

      Hi Jody and welcome to Advanced Life Skills. I have a grandson who is almost 18 and I am more focused on personal development and motivation than ever. These are the skills we need to keep learning and applying for a lifetime, especially as we get older.

      • David Stevens April 16, 2011 Reply

        Keep on learning. My coaching focusses on men & women 40+ getting the max out of their mid life….you can get better as you get older.

  2. Rocketbunny April 15, 2011 Reply

    I say -Kick those obstacles to the curb. Thinking negative thoughts is just a waste of energy. Challenges are what life is all about even when you get dealt a bad hand from time to time. Once the shock is over and the numbness is gone from my brain and body, once I don’t feel like I am having an out of body experience anymore because this can’t be happening to ME, then it’s time to move on. Yeah, You have to get it together and focus on your life and what you have planned. Be more careful and rebuild but keep your dreams and your goals. They belong to you and no one can take that away from you.

    • Jonathan April 15, 2011 Reply

      Hi Bunny, true, sometimes we do get knocked off balance for awhile when the unexpected strikes. That’s when our accumulated life skills really come in handy. Those are the exact resources we need to help us make a strong comeback. Many times those big challenges become springboards to even greater personal success.

  3. Stuart April 16, 2011 Reply

    The thing about success is that, for many people, they don’t know what success actually looks like.

    If you ask them “what would success look like to you?”, they might respond with “more money” or “new car” or “gorgeous holiday”. Not one can accurately predict what they actually want when they aim towards success. They just want success, but what is success?

    Having a million dollars is success for many people, but it isn’t to Bill Gates. Playing at their team’s stadium is success for many people, but it isn’t for the team they support. Success can be so many things, but hardly anyone takes the time to define what their ‘individual’ success would actually be.

    Let’s focus on what we want, not no-one, just ourselves. Our individual success is important to only one person, ourselves. Let’s focus on ourselves when we decide what to do with our lives :-)

    • Jonathan April 17, 2011 Reply

      Hey Stuart, defining what our personalized version of success looks like is a must. Chasing someone else’s version simply won’t bring much satisfaction. For anyone who hasn’t really thought about this, you might enjoy: What Does Success Look Like?

  4. Riley April 16, 2011 Reply

    Hey Jonathan,
    I think motivation and inspiration play a big part in achieving success and realizing your potential. And if you agree with that premise than you must be proactive and seek it out. It’s not in your best interest to say about inspiration “Wow that really felt good I hope it happens again”. You don’t want inspiration to be random. When I encounter someone that inspires me, I immediately begin to think of ways to include that person in my life on a regular basis. It could be reading their blog, email communication or if geographically possible have coffee or lunch with them on a regular basis.

  5. Alex Blackwell April 16, 2011 Reply

    Belief is the most important to me Jonathan. When I have the inner-confidence to go after something, and then believe I’m worthy to receive, then watch out!

    Thanks for an encouraging list.


    • Jonathan April 17, 2011 Reply

      Hey Alex, you phrased that perfectly when you said “and then believe I’m worthy to receive.” A sense of unworthiness will derail all attempts at personal success. This is a subconscious core issue with a lot of people. TRUE SELF handles this and similar issues in the very first section to clear them out of the way so real progress can be made.

  6. Galen Pearl April 16, 2011 Reply

    I have achieved the greatest success when I got my ego out of the way. My ego distracts me with desire for recognition, fear of failure, concern about what other people think, attachment to outcome, and appearances. When I can move past my ego to pay attention to the moment and do what seems right, then the outcome takes care of itself.

    • Jonathan April 17, 2011 Reply

      Hi Galen, I know exactly what you mean. I would add control freak to the ego list also. That’s the one that always got me until my daughter helped me learn a valuable life lesson. I wrote an article about it that you might enjoy called: Personal Development – Is Your Ego Getting In the Way?

      • Galen Pearl April 22, 2011 Reply

        Love the article. I have said before that God has a 12 step program for control addicts. It’s called children!

        • Jonathan April 22, 2011 Reply

          Some of my greatest life lessons have been delivered to me by my daughter. We grow up with our children.

  7. David Stevens April 16, 2011 Reply

    Thanks again Jonathan,
    Your 5 points are spot on. Belief/self belief is the ‘game breaker’. Regardless of whether your goal setting is good or poor, without self belief you will not succeed. Proper thought in going about your goal setting process in the first instance increases chance of success e.g SMART.
    Awareness, Passion, Belief are 3 of my indicators for Life success. Keep on learning throughout Life!
    Be good to yourself

    • Jonathan April 17, 2011 Reply

      So right David, belief is a game breaker or a game maker. Subconsciously we always look for evidence to support our beliefs while simultaneously ignoring or downgrading evidence to the contrary. If we believe we can, then we will notice anything that could validate that belief. This “evidence” then provides the assurance we need to keep us going even in the face of huge challenges. If we believe we can’t, then every obstacle looks insurmountable.

  8. Steve April 18, 2011 Reply

    Hi, Jonathan. I liked what you said about confidence. Writing down the reasons why we think we can achieve our goal can be very helpful, in that we can review them later on. Also, it helps to visualize and remember times when we had similar successes in the past. This is a quick way to boost self-confidence as well.

    • Jonathan April 22, 2011 Reply

      Hey Steve, some people do the exact opposite when things get challenging. They replay their failures and visualize how painful they were. That’s a good example of what not to do!

  9. Ben Troy June 22, 2012 Reply

    I think the lack of focus is the reason for failure. When you are procrastinating, hesitating, dragging and stopping, it is because you are focusing on the stuff that takes your focus away from the stuff that contributes to your work. Focusing on the problems causes lack of focus on the solution. Focusing on the negative causes lack of focus on the positives. Focusing on other things causes lack of focus on the primary thing. Therefore if you want to achieve maximum and fastest results, keep your eye on the ball.

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